Things to do in Iloilo - Philippines

Iloilo is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines. While its cultural heritage is very much intact and valued, this province also has an urban feel to it. Tourists flock to Iloilo to visit its historic churches, explore its natural wonders, meet the friendly locals, and indulge in mouth-watering cuisine. The top 5 things to do in Iloilo Philippines are reasons enough to make visitors return.

If you are looking for a lively community with a small-town vibe, head over to beautiful Iloilo. For starters, here are the top 5 things to do in Iloilo Philippines:

Eat, Eat and Eat.

You will never have an empty stomach in Iloilo! The first among the top 5 things to do in Iloilo Philippines is to try out the fantastic cuisine and delicious native delicacies. Favorites include La Paz batchoy, noodle soup with cracklings, vegetables, pork innards, beef loin or chicken breast and chicken stock; and pancit Molo, pork-chicken meatballs wrapped in dough and cooked in garlic-flavored broth. Iloilo is also popular for its delicate-tasting confections and pastries, such as hojaldres, biscocho, barquillos and pinagsugbu, which are great treats to bring home after your vacation.

Visit the Old Churches.

Many tourists come to Iloilo to visit its old churches, the second among the top 5 things to do in Iloilo Philippines. The seat of the archdiocese is Jaro Cathedral, which houses the limestone statue of the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria and has columns that are guarded by 16 male saints. The Santa Barbara Church and Convent in west central Iloilo was declared a national landmark by the National Heritage Institute in 1991. It was the general headquarters and military hospital of the revolutionary forces against Spain in the late 1800s. Miagao Church, built in 1786 and declared a national landmark in 1973, is the most popular church in Iloilo. It is also in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Go on a Nature Adventure.

Iloilo has a wealth of natural tourist attractions that is why embarking on a nature adventure is one of the top 5 things to do in Iloilo Philippines. For rolling hills, breathtaking views, waterfalls, and a tranquil atmosphere perfect for unwinding, visit the Bucari mountains in Leon. If you are into white-water kayaking, the river systems in this area will amaze you. The Bulabog-Putian National Park in Dingle, Rancho Gloria in Concepcion, and Mariit Conservation Park of the West Visayas University in Lambunao are must-visits for explorers, bird lovers and advocates of wildlife conservation.

Watch a Festival.

Your vacation in Iloilo will not be complete without watching a festival. Every January, two of the most-awaited festivals are held: Pasungay and Dinagyang. Pasungay in San Joaquin is a very exciting bullfighting spectacle. The Dinagyang Festival is a loud and colorful celebration where thousands of people in costumes dance, chant and stomp their feet to hypnotic drum beating. This famous festival is a tribute to the image of Sto. Niño. If you like boat races, visit Iloilo in March when the Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta is held.

Chill Out in the City.

The city proper has plenty of music venues, discos, malls, restaurants and wellness centers. Mingle with the locals and explore the urban side of Iloilo. Among the top 5 things to do in Iloilo Philippines is to chill out in the city.